Ooh tales of my travels with me pals …

March 9, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Following the last entry I’ll continue with a bit of a catch up regarding my travels around this beautiful island. The end of Nov 2009 brought with it the arrival of my friends Al and Stu from Manchester for 2 weeks holiday. They had no requests only that elephants were a must! I put together an itinerary and with the help of Joanna at paradisevoyage@sltnet.lk hotels, transport ( a van with driver) and train travel were arranged with no problem. The plan was they would arrive, chill at the PP for few days then we would head east by train to Polonnaruwa for a couple of days to visit the ancient city and environs.I would then return to Colombo ( after all I am here to do some work!!)Leaving the boys to travel with the man and a van to climb Sigiriyia ( see them for details of a near death experience!), visit Dambulla caves before a couple of days in Kandy to do the sights inc the Elephant orphanage, the Temple of the Tooth, the amazing sights at Botanical gardens. They would travel south to the tea country and a compulsory visit to a tea plantation and factory of course. They would proceed to Kitulgala with white water rafting as an option. Take the train to Nuwara Eliya where I would join them to walk to Worlds End again before we made our way to climb Adams Peak for my birthday ,ending up at the beach at Unawatuna for 3 days before a stay at the Galle Face Hotel before leaving the shores….phew fab or what I got to see some places Id never been before and to share some of my favourites with them they were very happy with the schedule.
However best laid plans etc a few days before they arrived I was asked to join some colleagues and their families on a trip to Trincomalee ( again great hey?) the weekend the boys were to arrive , I explained my situation as I declined the invite due to my visitors arriving… “ Hey Miss Sera no problem bring them a long, why not “they asked ?
Why not indeed a quick e to the intrepid travellers and it was sorted. They arrived at the PP , a few hours sleep up and out to a joint birthday celebration in Colombo home by midnight up at 4am to join the trip to Trinco on the road by 5am( time for jet lag and adjustment to the heat? …not a chance with Togs tours!) The journey took nearly 13 hours yes 13.It was truly amazing experience for them. There was 33 of us 4 vols, the 2 holiday makers ,26 colleagues, husbands ,wives ,aunties and children and enough food to feed the world. A couple sets of drums (and the odd bottle of arrack!)The highlight was stopping for brekkie at 9am we pulled in at the side of the road, all off the bus traipsed down a lane to a house the owner of which was someone’s brothers friend who opened the door showed the way to those with the buckets of food to the kitchen, others the outside toilet and tap to wash hands before we formed a line to received a plate ladened with bread, dhal , hot and spicy sambol, with a potato curry followed by bananas and sweet milky tea. We were all back on the bus within 30 mins. Like a military operation more fun and beat any motorway service station I’ve ever frequented that’s for sure!
We were sung to until lunch stop ( we ashamedly could not reciprocate as between us we only knew the first line of a song apart from Jerusalem and Ging gang goolie!) Lunch was a simple affair pulled in at a half erect building, put some tables together and out came more buckets this time with rice and 3or 4 curries ….delicious Al and Stu got stuck in eating with their fingers!
We arrived like I say about 6pm via lakes, temples and the natural spa’s 13 hrs later. Not a moan or complaint from either of them only praises and compliments for the warmth and generosity they had experienced during a journey not to be forgotten for a long time. They carried on with the itinerary as planned 2 days later what a great start to the holiday!( Which by the way included lots of additional little extra visits plus facts and information about SL from the driver Roland
Briefly since then I have visited Dambulla caves, I have been white water rafting, twice! Done some climbing and walking in the Knuckles range and swam in twin water falls….so you’re up to date with me travels!
Next blog about the developments at work , as I prepare for my return to the UK in April.


Holidays ,Holy days…Happy days!

May 9, 2009 at 4:39 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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I’ve been and come back or as they say here gihan ennan ..I’ll go and come.
Returning home at the end of March to join the family celebrate my parents golden wedding anniversary was a great way to start nearly 3 weeks holiday in the UK. Wow an instant hit of my nearest and dearest which included going to mass the receiving of a Papal blessing ( its like the Queen sending a telegram for birthdays of significance, but this is from the Pope!) eating drinking lots of laughing and catching up, staying at Ripley Castle, North York’s, more eating ,drinking and much merriment and many happy memories.
I had a great time seeing friends in Chester, Manchester and London including going to the theatre to see “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” which was fabulous darlings! Time was spent with my family, visiting relative’s, a day at the coast in Scarborough by train with my nephew, eating, seeing friends from work ,more food, shopping ,hot chocolate in M&S, cheese, cinema, DVD’s, walking, and gardening pretty well sums up the vacation! On leaving I was naturally a little sad but was I ready to return, I’d missed the heat… my mum’s heating bill will certainly be up this quarter!
So I’m back all is well. George the geeko had moved some more mates in lots of geeko poo to sweep up along with 3 weeks dust was the first job before unpacking. My Landlord and family were keen to hear about my visit and invited me for an evening meal with them which was a lovely welcome back.
Returning to work, I was interested to see what had happened in my absence. Before leaving I had met with Matron and a few senior staff to discuss on going projects, agreeing a list of things ” to do”.I am pleased to say that matron met me with a beaming Sri Lankan smile and before we had time to say hello, beckoned me to the flip chart paper on the wall with big ticks all over it WOW …she and the staff had been busy. She gave me an up date of progress and a rationale for why something’s had not been ticked, about 65% complete I was blown away …YIPEE! On the Friday of that week we held our 4th communication meeting this time (with much encouragement from yours truly) Matron facilitated, updating the action plan and establishing 2 working groups …slowly slowly things are changing!
The rest of that week was spent listening to the events that had happened relating to the New Year celebrations I’d missed; the thing is here events go on for 2 weeks after the event so I was able to spend time at Angoda Hospital New Year Festival.
This year instead of each ward having an event all wards combined to have a big event in the sports field next to hospital. You may remember last year I spent a similar day at the horticulture project where I took part in the ‘ eat the hanging cream cracker, hands tied behind your back game.’ This year I got knocked out in the first round of musical chairs!
It was good to witness, staff and clients having fun together. New games this year, guess how many seeds in the Papaya( size of a rugby ball)this was a hard one as some papaya that big have been known on opening to contain less than 10 and others 1000’s.I had 3 goes …no where near the answer of 894 …glad I wasn’t asked to count!
An event I’d not seen before was a pillow fight…with a difference. A wooden ‘A’ frame was erected about 7ft high and 8ft long, 2 contestants mounted with pillow in hand the other hand behind their back. The idea was of course to knock your opponent off to land on the mattresses below…it was hilarious, some of these chaps put so much effort in to taking a swing they fell off with out delivering a blow. Others were veterans at the game and held their position while receiving the blows rained on them picking their time when the opponent was tiring to take one swing and off he’d go. Watching with a colleague she enquired did these events happen in the UK? I had thoughts of Eddie Waring and Stewart Hall on TV’s ‘ Its a ‘Knock Out’. Thinking about the NHS … health and safety and fun in the same sentence…
Yesterday was Vesak Poya the Festival of Light, I went to watch the Perahera (parade) with my landlady and landlord as their son was taking part. This reminded me of the perehera I watched in Kandy but with less elephants (there were 2 )the children in their class groups were dressed in traditional brightly coloured costumes from 4 -18 yr olds, lots of noise from the drums and singing. It was supported by proud parents with family and friends .Despite a few showers of rain we walked about 3 km through the town, passing the shops and booths displaying their lamps and streamers cars and buses heavily decorated also. On our return home we were stopped at roadside booths ‘dansal’ which were erected for the purpose, to give away free food yes rice and curry, some with drinks and biscuits all the villagers out smiling chatting a real sense of community …this is where I live at the moment and I’m happy to be back!

Travels with my sis…

July 12, 2008 at 10:49 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Well my sister Rosie popped over from Hong Kong like you do, for a 4 day break in Sri Lanka. I was of course  very excited  at the thought of seeing a family member, seeing other parts of SL and of course the goodies she would bring! I arrived at the Beach Hotel in Negombo  ( 15mins from the airport )in plenty of time to make use of the  hotel facilities. Rosie was due to arrive at midnight. She had rung to inform me that, when she had arrived at the Cathy Pacific desk to check in she was informed that as she did not have a full page empty in her passport, there may be a problem with SL immigration??? she had been asked to sign a disclaimer…! I made some enquiries this end and was reassured that there would not be a problem the stamp was not a huge one , however Cathy Pacific had just left that nagging doubt what if… Rosie prepared for all occasions asked me to bring my passport just in case, if they refused her entry ,I was to get the next flight to Bangkok and have the weekend there instead ,so as I sipped my gin and tonic in the bath I contemplated my win win situation!

Anyway she waltzed through  the arrivals lounge the seasoned traveller that she is,there was nay problem at all.  As she unpacked we drank Stella and ate galaxy chocolate don’t you just love duty free! In her case there was  some DVD box sets some I was not familiar with but hey I am not fussed these days, tahini  (sesame seed paste vital for making hummus cant get it here)insect repellent, and of course gin and vodka ,oh yes a bottle of  bubbly(Tattinger  dahlings!)sorted… we slept soundly!

After a swim we enjoyed a fantastic brekky including beans on toast (haven’t had proper toast since leaving the UK)we travelled to Pinnewala to the elephant orphanage( see an earlier blog for details) and then on to the Kandy area. It was fantastic to be in the hill country, my recent ventures out and about in SL have been to the beach areas which are fab, but I am a country girl at heart! On route we stopped of at a tea factory ,as it was late we had the manager show us around, it was most informative and really hot. The temp to be endured by the workers  was generated by the driers ,we were assured they took breaks and rotated their place in the production line?!From here we travelled through to Kandy  which according to my copy Rough guide “is situated amidst precipitous green hills at the heart of the island”. We headed for the Villa Rosa hotel a couple of km west of the town, it was a fantastic location nestled in the hillside over looking the Mahaweli  Ganga(river)if you are thinking of visiting SL ,I highly recommend a visit, check it out on www.villarosa-kandy.com

Kandy itself is steeped in Sinhalese tradition and its unique cultural heritage is apparent everywhere, music, dance and architecture it is also home to the countrys most important shrine the Temple of the Tooth which is where we spent Saturday  morning accompanied by our guide Gammage. He was full of knowledge and anecdotes his English was very good, his photography needs a bit of practise or was that my new camera! From there we proceeded to Dambulla. I forgot to mention I had booked a car and driver for the trip which is the done thing over here. You hire a vehicle and driver for your trip he stays at the same hotels in the staff quarters and will drive where ever agreed on booking. These drivers have their favourite places where they get a bit of commission for bringing tourists. We gave into Saraths persuasion to visit a spice garden, and left feeling very relaxed having recieved a free head, neck and leg massage. As it was low season the student s practised on us using Ayurvedic preparations.

Next stop was the Kandalama Hotel on the edge of the Kandalama lake,one of the countrys most famous hotels, ranking among one of the finest works of Geoffrey Bawa ( I visited his home on return from Unawatuna see previous blog entry  Oh to be beside the seaside..also www.aitkenspenceholidays.com for more info) Here we enjoyed the pools (Rosie made it to the gym)and again fantastic SL cuisine. It was great just to just chill forget about work to spend time chatting or not ,and to enjoy this another very beautiful part of  the island of SL.Interestingly Rosie commented that I walked slower these days …must be getting into SL pace not such a bed thing hey?

Sunday morn dawned,it found us well rested ready to make the most of the cool of the day as we  were to climb Sigiryia- Lion Rock ,which was declared a world heritage site in 1982. It is a remarkable archeological site making it is one of SL’s memorable single attraction by its dramatic setting, as the Rough guide states “the spectacular citadel of SIGIRYIA  rises sheer and impregnable out of the denuded plains of the dry zone, towering 200 m above the surrounding country side” I couldn’t have put it better myself! I  have been known to suffer from a bit of veritigo ( remember St Pauls Cathedral Denise, Montserrat Barcelona, John- Sydney Harbour Bridge Alistair???) so as I approached, I did wonder would I be adding Rosie and Sigiryia to my list of throwing a wobbler at a great height? I said nowt to Rosie as she led the way up the narrow rusting stair well ,she was taking her time I enquired of her well  being, to see  in front of her an elderly tiny wee Sri Lankan lady, bare footed  slowly making her ascent,I stopped fretting and got on with minding my step! Wow it was worth it, what a breathtaking view at the top, to consider the Royal Palace that had stood here years before, the foundations remain today,amazing really fascinating!How on earth they manged to build such a place.You certainly would not want to forget anything at the shops thats for sure!The desent is a bit precarious but we made it without difficulty! A slow walk around the gardens we returned to the hotel for what I think was a well earned beer and lunch. After the mornings efforts we spent the afternoon catching a few rays by the pool playing cards, both listening to our ipods and singing out of tune It was great just to chill I had to keep pinching myself(catholic guilt creeps in ..)should I really be enjoying myself I’m out here volunteering,rosie put me straight, it was her treat to me all I was to do was to enjoy! Later that evening we received a call from reception  confirming we were staying  a second night, would we like to be upgraded to a room with a Jacuzzi bath  – I ask you …is the Pope a…? Crack open that fizz sis was my reply !

On Monday headed back towards Colombo, we made a flying visit to Mulleriyawa Unit 2 as my colleagues were really keen to meet Rosie. Bless her, not keen on hospitals at the best of times she coped very well with the inquisitive looks and touches from the women, their environment, and the questions re her marital status from the staff. Finishing the short visit we popped into my office the sight of the bare walls, desk covered with a sheet, the 2 chairs with vase of plastic flowers(they are compulsory in SL they love ‘em), she gave me a big hug and whispered that she was really proud of me… dewy eyed we retreated to the car and on to the Pink Palace where the landlord and his wife were there to greet us they were lovely. The tour completed  we headed off to collect Podi who was to joined us for dinner at the Galle Face Hotel where we savoured the delicious buffet, it was then time for Rosie to depart for the airport.

 As I said this was a short break in SL for Rosie, it was a LUXURY mini break for moi! I had spent 4 great days in the company of my sis, seen more of this beautiful amazing island that is my home for the next 21 months and enjoyed fabulous food and facilities, lucky me hey? I returned to work fully rested  and raring to go… to my diary, who and when is the next visitor due?

Oh to be beside the seaside…

May 25, 2008 at 9:44 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Yes my first trip to the coast was to UNAWATUNA  3-4 hours drive south. We left Colombo via the supermarket I’d mentioned in  last blog how I enjoyed the eats on trips out, so armed with watura ( water)Pringles and sesame seed balls(delicious) we headed off, picking up the Joanne and Podi joining Helen and myself. We were travelling by van, booked earlier in the week. I sadly report that there was another bus bomb on Friday (16thMay), killing and injuring both police and civilians. We would have been in that area to catch the bus had we chosen to travel that way. I won’t dwell…

I was unable to see very much as it starts to go dark about 6-6.30pm , but was aware of the coast line on my right hand side (dakuna, I am doing ok with my directions in sinhalen by the way- wama is left.)Some reconstruction was evident post the tsunami devastation of 2004. I remember watching the news on that Boxing Day, never thinking I would be here some 4 years later…strange hey?

We reached our destination The Shangri La guest house – cabanas (Wooden chalets/huts to you) surrounded by palm trees with the odd hammock strung between them it was a beautiful spot. Cabanas house cater for 1-2 persons  toilet/shower ,they  are round and have a little balcony, price at this time of year £40 for 4 nights based on 2 sharing (£5 a night each!) we deposited our bags and headed off in search of a late supper which we found at the Happy Banana (sathutu kesel). 4 deck chairs on its beach front setting  in the moon light with fish and chips (Grilled tuna, salad, and fries)  and a beer …ah bliss just like I’d seen in books and on travel programmes about SL. 4 days of this would I cope???

Well I did in deed cope I had a fab time not alone the setting but enjoyed the time to catch up with other vols .Saturday found us chilling on the beach in a pretty semi circular bay and as my guide book informed me “picturesquely terminated by a dagoba on the rocky headland of the northwest” you can check it out the photos if you follow the link in the e email..  In the evening dancing into the small wee hours at the Happy Banana Disco!

Sunday morning found us not to worse for wear, despite the late night. However I lost my phone and a camera belonging to another vol was possibly stolen, putting things in perspective we took our selves for a hearty break fast at “Zimmer”. An appropriate venue for our pace I thought! We enjoyed healthy fodder of papaya juice,3 grain porridge, fruit and kitul (Honey from the kitul tree a type of palm)followed by toast…yes brown home made bread machine toast, I had not realised I had missed toast , it was well tasty!

Late morning we took a trip in to Galle to the Fort area .Galle is known as SL fourth largest city, and declared a World Heritage site in 1988.The tsunami devastated the east coast with the direct impact of the tidal waves, but the southern coastline suffered the greatest destruction of property and loss of life. We spoke of the TV clips we had viewed showing waves breaking against the walls of Galle Fort where we now sat. We got chatting to some locals who had been diving off the rocks that day, they spoke of  their immediate reactions and experiences in the days that followed hearing of the loss of friends, families and livelihoods. They openly shared their disappointment at seeing anything of the money raised worldwide to help those who survived, rebuild a life. It made me think of the impact on my work , some of the women able to be discharged , will never be reunited with family as they died  or are no longer traceable following this disaster…


We continued our meanderings aware it was very busy with locals having a long weekend ,it was VESEK POYA. This is one of the most important Buddhist Festivals which revolve around the days of the full moon- poya days; this one was a three fold celebration of the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death. Lamps are lit in front of houses. (I had left the hospital on Friday with most wards patients and staff busy making their lanterns to decorate the wards)

Monday saw enjoying the beach, with a gentle stroll to explore the dagoba on the headland watching the locals enjoy the sea, seemed like a really family affair. The women tend to maintain their dignity and mess about in the water fully clothed! The kids splashing  about with Dads, teenage lads playing football, the girls in groups plaiting hair giggling, could have been Blackpool?… not – no penny arcades, no rides to queue for ,no donkeys, rock or fish and chips, and no tower… no comparison !

On Monday evening we ventured to Galle to see the streets festooned with lamps and lanterns no 2 alike, some very ornate and intricate in their design , a whole street being the area for competition between local schools, and police forces they were pretty spectacular. Buses and cars were decorated with streamers; roadside booths gave away free rice and curry… one of the best meals I have sampled in SL.

On the return journey on Tuesday we stopped off at the idyllic Brief Garden- named after the father of the artist and writer Bevis Bawa, who raised the money to buy the estate from a successful legal brief.BB began landscaping the 5 acres garden in 1929 and continued until his death in 1992, encouraged by his brother Geoffrey who embarked on a career in architecture and landscape design. The garden is a series of terraces which tumble down the hillside below the house. The guide who nursed BB in his last days informed us that as the two brothers never married, the will of BB left the estate to the workers of the land, otherwise it would have gone to the government.  This made a welcome stop and was really interesting with influences from around the world. Great venue for a party was my thought as I wandered about looking at huge plants and flowers including a black orchid from Thailand! Visitors whose pictures decorated the walls included Vivien Leigh and Lawrence Olivier … nice bit o’ culture to end the weekend don’t you know!

So that was my first little break from work, one which I felt I deserved I enjoyed every minute and am already thinking about the next… I’ll keep ya posted!

New kid on the block…

April 28, 2008 at 11:21 am | Posted in Food, Friends, Life, Travel | 2 Comments
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Pink Palace balcony

Balcony of the Pink Palace!

Over one week later I am pleased to say a little wiser . I met my landlord, his wife and son on my return  from a Tuesday evening soiree with the others in Ragagiry-  podi Sarahs neighbour hood where we  enjoyed some cheap local food very tasty. They ( the LL and family) welcomed me into their house and apologised for not being there  when I had arrived as it was the New Year they had visited relatives in the hill country. As I sipped plain tea ( tea no milk but suggered)I found out Mrs  S,is a teacher at a local school  who speaks good English. Mr S,is 66 and proudly  informed me he is a retired government worker. Tilekash is 12, goes to the British Commission School up the road. His mum suggested that I could help him with his English homework…I agreed as one does …poor lad! They enquired about my job and offered sympathetic looks when I said Mulleriyawa  unit 2…bodes well I thought!

As I made my way to leave to prepare for my big day  I was presented with 6 advocados,1 dozen huge bananas, leeks , peppers , green and white beans ,lettuce and  a kilo of carrots gifts from the country where all this stuff was grown by their rels …lucky me!

Wednesday dawned following a better nights sleep than anticpated(must be the calming pinkness) just before retiring I met a couple of chaps wanting to share my pink palace …Mr Cockyroach got short shrift( a quick blast from “mortein “ the recommended spray for unwanted visitors of the insect variety) is no longer on the tenacy. Mr Gecko (George) however is welcome to stay,I hardly know he is there he likes to hang out in the bathroom or the kitchen.

Mr S greeted me as I was about to leave to get the bus at the end of the lane to Angoda Hosp he insisted on driving me there… and has done so every morning since…

Kindness, helpfulness, friendliness and generosity is what I have experienced by the people I have met at work; nurses, social workers, doctors support staff and patients or on my way home the shop keepers stall holders and bus conductors’ feel humbled by these people they have so little in financial /material terms but give so much…Is it because I am a tall white westerner, bit of a novelty…? no, I  don’t think so., they seem to belike it to everyone .I read about it before arrival and from people who had visited this Island , certainly something I am going to get used to…

They are also very amusing- the kids are all very cute, who do stare at me, nothing intimidating but with curiosity. I saw a couple of teenagers get one of those “wait till I get you home looks” from their mother who caught them glancing at me wide mouthed and giggling on the bus t’other day.

Staying with the buses I witnessed a driver changeover the likes never seen before… the bus stops a chap gets on, the bus progresses on its way, the chap chats to the driver, as we approach a bend the bus slows down a bit but does not stop no handbrake applied, the driver gets out of the seat the other chap gets in and drives the bus…perhaps I should let National Express in on this novel time saving method?

(Sadly there was another bus bomb on Friday night with lives lost – security / safety is high on my agenda and I do adhere to guidance from VSO)

I have had some other attention, as warned in our training…walking t’market last Saturday I was called by a tri shaw driver on the other side of the road- madam madam…I looked over to view him having a “jimmy riddle “standing behind his vehicle and towards the wall … when I said ‘epaa’ (don’t want) and proceeded on my way – he turned to face me and waved his willie at me! Oh matron the sights you see!  (Gerry you can edit that bit from the folks ta)

Work has been interesting, I spent the first few days at Mental Hospital Angoda (MHA The only Mental Health Hospital in Sri Lanka, general hospitals have a psychiatric ward) As I said earlier I have been taken under the wing of the social work dept which has been most informative .Helen is a social worker (fellow VSO vol been here since Nov 2006) her help in settling in has been really appreciated. I have been getting to know the systems, procedures and policy or lack of it in some cases. This week after meeting the boss I have spent time at Mulleriyawa (Mully).I am pleased to be able to write that it is not as bad as I had imagined or seen on the photos…it is very different to the Western environments I have experienced. It has been taken over by MHA since May2007 the changes have taken place pretty rapidly (4 full time Medical officers – there had been little or no input previously) with plans to continue in place – including my role in its development!  A horticultural project has just received funding from WHO, a new OT dept opens on the 28th April, a rehab ward to be developed to hopefully reintegrate its in patients with family if possible or in community housing. The women have institutionalised for 20-30  some even 40 years! It is my plan to take things slowly, spend time with the staff before I get into training etc there are some enthusiastic staff so I intent to meet with them and draw up a plan of action for the next few months.

Taking it slowly …Helen daily reminds me to slow down when walking if you over take a Sri Lankan I’m moving to fast, I hope that’s raised a few smiles …yes Sarah is dropping in to first gear!

On the social front I’ve been out to a Sri Lankan birthday party this week. Invited by Helen to the 6th birthday celebrations of her gym owners son.Once again I experienced the generous hospitality SL style. The birthday cake was cut once all guests arrived, the birthday boy took the first piece of which he had a bite, and then shared it with his mum, dad, sis, bro, and gran ahh! Nice tradition! Once that was over we enjoyed fresh mango juice, the men then sat outside at tables and consumed the alcohol on offer SL women do not drink! Helen and I sat with the women doing our best to make small talk with my chuTTak sinhalen( little Sinhalese) conversations were short with lots of smiling!

The host’s dad however asked us if we would like a drink, obviously we did not refuse and were shown to an empty table and offered beer or brandy and coke luvvly jubbly! The caterers arrived the  food was ready in no time traditional SL fare- 2 types of  rice, fish curry ,cashew nut and veg curry, salad  and sambol (onion,chillie and dried fish) not a chicken leg, quiche, or vol o vent in sight! Sambol is the new taste sensation!

My other outing was on Thursday to the British High Commission (BHC) BBQ and 80’s disco…not SL in any shape or form as you can imagine lots of paid ex pats from BHC, various NGO and aid agencies, darling.  Jesse and Joanne made some contacts and have signed up for the 5 a side team. I enjoyed a couple of beers and a Haloumi kebab, oh silly me I haven’t put next months date in my diary!

All is well at the pink palace, which last Sunday had its first guests. Joanne, Jesse and Podi came to the jungle for soup. It made me feel at home rustling up a lentil broth for the troops, followed by some cheese (Edam with cumin seeds) and bickies proper cheese is available at a price-Podi and I spotted it in Apirco on Saturday, we decided it would be purchased as a luxury on special occasions…  Sarah brought along cake (which is a SL tradition when visiting- they like their cake.) which was eaten with yoghurt …a veritable feast!


This Sunday  afternoon finds me chillin’ might go for a walk see if ‘tinternet ‘place is open to put this on ,then back for a bit of ironing as I treated my clothes to the laundrette on Friday. An early night beckons -sleeping not good at the mo, cos the mossies got me the other night, slight discomfort from itchiness hey ho… Honest I’m not complaining!

More soon…

Hi posting this on Monday 28th 16.45,its the rainy season so is pissing it down as I type. Got the bus from work to stay dry but the bus leaks…it made me smile.

All went well with the opening of the new OT dept, met the secretary to the minister of health for Sri Lanka!Then spent the afternoon with the nurses on the ward and the patients of course They follow visitors around and want to touch my hair and kiss my feet ( that will soon stop).The nurses try really hard to speak English so although it taks\es a while we get there in the end…slowly slowly!

till the next time …where’s me brolly!






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